You've heard their tales of marathon Adventure Path sessions, now the folks from the Order of the Amber Die are eagerly leaping into the Pathfinder Playtest. Below is the first report from their table as they play through the first portion of Doomsday Dawn! Beware spoilers if you intend on playing through this adventure!
The Order has a storied past with edition changes, as we began playing first edition AD&D in our GM's basement in 1987. Over the years, we switched to 2.0, then 3.0, next to 3.5, skipped 4th and went to 3.75—and yet now we stare at another phase of the game's evolution. For eighteen years, we've essentially played some iteration of 3.0—our longest stint in any edition. After so many years, it is an honor to be able to present our data from the dawn of a new era!
We've found that one of the best ways for a group to make the shift to a new edition is simply as a group. The players held several get-togethers and also used a live document to guide each other through some of this edition's most radical changes. To physically represent the new feature of Hero Points, one of our members cut tokens from aircraft aluminum in the likeness of the Amber Die. Another member created dozens of condition cards—a set for everyone. To celebrate the debut of Pathfinder's new goblin iconic, we reached out to Aradani Studios for the first set of goblin ears ever to appear at our table. Lastly, Fumbus had to have a miniature to match the rest of the iconics, and the artists at Blue Table Painting made sure that a goblin would show proudly among the veteran iconic miniatures around him!
Our roster throughout the playtest will adjust slightly for each part, consisting of OAD veterans from previous Paizo blog projects such as The Giantslayer Endeavor, The Strange Aeons Experiment, and The Azlant Odyssey. Also listed is the year they became a member of the Order (when a player has reached 100 hours at our table). While Resonance was tough on us without a cleric, this party set out to prove that even a non-traditional lineup without major access to healing could thrive in the new edition.
Seoni, human sorcerer
Feats: Hobnobber, Toughness
Background: Family Friend
Played by Matt Hardin (2003)
Lem, halfing bard
Feats: Bardic Lore, Dubious Knowledge, Unfettered Knowledge
Background: Mind Quake Survivor
Played by Daniel Scholler (2007)
Fumbus, goblin alchemist
Feats: Quick Bomber, Burn It, Quick Repair
Formulas: Alchemist's fire, acid splash, antidote, elixir of life
Background: Goblin Renegade
Played by Erick Germer (2007)
Sajan, human monk
Feats: Toughness, Monastic Weaponry
Build: strength, flurry of blows, shurikens
Background: Budding Osirionologist
Played by Sean Linville (2016)
The Lost Star By The Numbers
Player Tracking Sheet
- Average time spent in character creation: 144 minutes
- Number of times a character was reduced to 0 HP: Fumbus (1), Sajan (2)
- Number of times a character reached 0 Resonance: Fumbus (1), Sajan (1)
- Number of critical fails when overspending Resonance: Fumbus (1)
- Number of times a character ran out of spell slots: Lem (1)
- Number of times a character ran out of spell points: 0
- Number of Hero Points used: Fumbus (0), Lem (2), Sajan (3), Seoni (3)
GM Tracking Sheet
- Total time spent playing The Lost Star: 6hrs, 43min
- Total time spent preparing The Lost Star: 7hrs, 36min
- Number of sessions spent playing The Lost Star: 2 (session increments are 4 hours)
- Total number of Hero Points given out: 24
- Number of characters reduced to 0 HP: 3
- Number of characters killed: 0
- Bombs thrown: 6 of 7
- Persistent damage total: 10
- Composition uses: 8
- Cantrip damage (telekinetic projectile and chill touch): 28
- Uses of 3rd attack in a single round: 2
- Successes of 3rd attack in a single round: 0
- Enemies' saving throws vs. spells: 9
- Enemies' critical failure vs. spells: 1
- Enemies' critical success vs. spells: 0
Hero Point Usage
- 3: Moved, then full-casted magicmissile (Seoni)
- 3: Extra attack (Sajan, missed)
- 2: Rerolled attack (Lem, successful)
Resting and Encounters
- Number of rests: 0
- Number of encounters (traps/hazards included): 6
Highlights From The Lost Star
Not long after entering the Ashen Ossuary in search of a family heirloom, we got into a sprawling melee with goblins in the dark. What we used to call the tedious "five-foot shuffle," now became the highly mobile "goblin scuttle," and they ran circles around us. Our GM used the new third action to have goblins break away and run toward our back ranks, dog slicers in hand. Without attacks of opportunity, no one was entirely safe.
When it came to Hero Points, we saw plenty of them. In addition to the standard one point per session and one for contributing (OAD members are expected to carry plenty of out-of-game tasks), we threw ourselves at the adventure trying to do something daring or heroic enough to warrant an additional point. In the end, we were conservative with the points we earned—maybe too much—but their ability to save us from death was worth keeping around.
The final battle was nothing short of the action we've come to expect from Pathfinder. Sajan led the way into the chamber occupied by Drakus the Taker, a hobgoblin thought to be a vampire. The monk let off a shot with an expert crossbow he'd picked up, enhanced with magic weapon: natural 20. Fumbus followed in, urging the party on by throwing an alchemist's fire bomb: another natural 20. Drakus reverted to his true form, then lashed out with a natural 20 of his own, dropping the goblin renegade. A round later, the monk too lay at the feet of the ugothol. With just Seoni and Lem left, the sorcerer used three Hero Points to move into line of sight, followed by a full casting of magic missile for the win!
Near the end of our crawl through the ossuary, Lem suffered a critical hit from a poisoned lock that left the halfling struggling for life; before the poison could advance further, we hurried to the safety of Magnimar's streets. We also recovered the lost Star of Desna, and returned it to Keleri Deverin with plenty of time to reach the Swallowtail Festival—she couldn't be late for the launch of one of Paizo's most legendary Adventure Paths!